- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 3
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Holiday House (January 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0823416372
- ISBN-13: 978-0823416370
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bats Paperback – January 1, 1999
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Kindergarten-Grade 3-A clever format and succinctly written text distinguish this offering by a prolific author. Gibbons describes bats' general physical characteristics, special traits of some half-dozen species, flying methods, use of echolocation, diet, natural habitats, hibernation, and the birth and development of young. She also discusses the decimation of bats around the world due to loss of habitats and pollution and the efforts to protect the world's only truly flying mammals. A final page offers additional miscellaneous facts. The text is clearly written and well organized. Scientific terms such as "nocturnal," "membrane," and "roosts" are clearly defined in context. Double borders enclose vivid paintings of bats in their natural habitats. While Ann Earle's Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats (HarperCollins, 1995) and Betsy Maestro's Bats: Night Fliers (Scholastic, 1994) cover similar ground, Gibbons's title makes an appealing addition to natural history sections.
Taking issue with the unkind and untrue things said about bats through the years, Gibbons presents children with a more favorable introduction to the species. The text clearly describes the many types of bats as well as their physical characteristics, habits, and life cycle. Deep-toned illustrations dominate the pages, showing bats in action against midnight-blue or moonlit skies. The occasional splashes of color light up brilliantly against the dark backgrounds. Well suited for classroom use, this book makes a good case for bats as an admirable part of the natural world.
About the Author
Gail Gibbons "has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children's writer-illustrator," according to the Washington Post. Winner of the 2010 Regina Award, she has written and illustrated more than fifty books for Holiday House. She lives in Corinth, Vermont.
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This book, Bats, by Gail Gibbons, is a very good overview of bat anatomy and behavior. Published in 1999, it seems a bit out of date given the impacts of two new issues on bat populations. The first is the impact of wind energy developments on bat mortality. Tens of thousands of bats are killed every year due to their interactions with wind turbines. The second issue is even newer. In 2006, a new fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome, apparently transferred from Europe to the US, has killed over a million eastern bats, and the disease is moving west.
For the adult reader, consider America's Neighborhood Bats: Understanding and Learning to Live in Harmony with Them.